Universities buy .xxx domains

PR Newswire
(CBS/AP) - In a preemptive strike against a potential disaster, universities across the country are buying .xxx domains that might hurt their reputation.

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Schools grab .xxx sites to protect names from porn

University of Kansas is securing KUgirls.xxx and KUnurses.xxx before the porn industry can buy the site and cash in on the college's name. Those aren't the only URLs that were purchased. Spending a total of $3,000, the university also snatched up kansas.xxx, rockchalkjayhawk.xxx and jayhawks.xxx, among others.

"Down the road there's no way we can predict what some unscrupulous entrepreneur might come up with," said Paul Vander Tuig, trademark licensing director at the Lawrence, Kan., school.

Indiana University coughed up $2,200 to buy sites like hoosiers.xxx. University of Missouri, Washington University, Purdue University and Ball State University have also purchased domains.

Corporations had a chance to grab web addresses months ago. Brands like Target, Nike and Pepsi have all paid to protect their brands.

ICM Registry, the exclusive manager of .xxx domains, is cashing in on this type of brand protection. Prices range from $199.99 to $209.99 for 10 years of blocking, plus $99 per year for a domain name.

There has been strong opposition to the top-level domain from religious groups all the way to the adult entertainment industry.

Allison Vivas, president and CEO of Pink Visual Productions, an adult website operator in Van Nuys, Calif., said her company and others like it were also given the chance to buy up .xxx sites matching their existing .com addresses, but Vivas and many others opted not to.

Vivas said she doesn't think her company - or any organization, adult-oriented or not - should have to pay to protect its trademarks. Otherwise, "it kind of becomes extortion."

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